November 28, 2007

I Wish...

I wish.......I wish I was still on vacation in Gulf Shores, AL. It was a cooooold day here today. I found myself thinking of the beach, the sun,the smell of the ocean, the sand between my toes. If I can't be there, I am grateful for the memories and photos I have of the beach.

I will leave you with one more photo of a wonderful sunset on the beach. At first we thought it would be a ho hum sunset. Then the sun burst through the clouds. Wow!

November 26, 2007

Cute Snowmen

I finished the quilting on my friend Gloria K.'s quilt today! Yeah! I think it turned out well. She is giving it as a gift, and the recipient is one lucky friend! I had a lot of fun quilting this wall hanging. I interspersed snowflakes among the stippling which added to the fun. I love your quilt Gloria!
If you missed my post about Paying It Forward scroll down to check it out. There is still a couple of spots left!

November 25, 2007

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

Happy Belated Thanksgiving! My dear Hubby and I traveled to my parents home and enjoyed Thanksgiving with family and friends. I was thinking about what I was thankful for. At the top of the list:
1. My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ
2. My wonderful husband
3. My family
4. My friends
I was reminded today that material things can be replaced, but not the people in your life. Take the time today to let then know they are loved!

Pay It Forward

I was reading Linda's blog and was able to get in on her Pay It Forward exchange fun. This is how it works:

Come join the fun and make the world a happier place. It’s the Pay It Forward Exchange. It’s based on the concept of the movie “Pay it Forward” where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return, just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness are passed on. So here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange.I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! More than likely I'll get it made after Christmas and sent out early in the New Year. What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog. Unfortunately this is only possible for those who have a blog.
So, the first three who post and ask to be part of the PIF exchange will receive a handmade gift from me!

November 19, 2007

Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole - Yum!

For many years my contribution to the Thanksgiving meal has been bringing the Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole. When I was gathering the ingredients I decided that I needed to share the recipe with my blogging friends. One thing I especially like about this recipe is the ability to make it ahead of time, freeze the sweet potato mixture and topping, and then bake it on Thanksgiving day. This makes the busy day of Thanksgiving easier. I always use fresh sweet potatoes that I have cooked and pureed. You can use the canned sweet potatoes if you prefer. I doubled the recipe when I made it today, so keep that in mind if you try out this recipe and your yield doesn't look like mine.

Sweet Potato Souffle Casserole

Sweet potatoes, canned (drained) 40 oz. or 2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes freshly cooked
1/4 C. Milk
1/2 C. Butter
3/4 C. Sugar
2 eggs
1 T. Vanilla extract
1 C. Brown Sugar
1/2 C. Flour
1/3 C. Butter chilled
1 C. Pecans, chopped

With an electric mixer puree the sweet potatoes (whip them until they look like smooth mashed potatoes). You should end up with about 3 cups of puree. While the sweet potatoes are still hot mix in with the electric mixer the milk, butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. (If you have used canned sweet potatoes, melt the butter before adding to the mixture.) Mix until well blended.

In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender mix in the chilled butter until the mixture is crumbly and evenly mixed. Stir in the chopped pecans.

Freezing directions: Place the sweet potato mixture in a gallon freezer bag or container. Remove the excess air from the container, seal and freeze. Place the brown sugar mixture in a quart size freezer bag or container. Remove excess air and freeze.

To serve: thaw both bags. Spread sweet potato mixture in a greased or spray coated baking dish. Evenly distribute the brown sugar mixture over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 min.

Note: To cook fresh sweet potatoes, peel them, place them in a pan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook until they can be easily pierced with a fork. Drain well.

Here are my bags ready for the freezer. In the past I have even split this recipe into thirds and froze it for smaller servings for hubby and myself. YUM! I am looking forward to Thanksgiving with the family!

November 17, 2007

Finally - a quilty post!

Yeah, I have a quilty post for today. This is my friends quilt that I am going to start machine quilting tonight. I don't want to share my friends identity until I have her permission. I really doubt that the person she is giving this wall hanging to reads my blog, but to be on the safe side.....I would sure hate to spoil the surprise! The wall hanging is adorable! I have to decide now how to quilt it. I have it pin basted now. I ran out of pins. Drats. I like to pin a little more heavily then I was able to. I think once I stabilize the quilt by stitching in the ditch of the blocks I can move the pins around and put more in the border. It felt so good to play with fabric tonight. With everything that was going on this week this was the first time I got to even touch fabric since we got back from vacation. Yeah! Well, it is off to the machine now.

November 15, 2007

Still More

I promise, I won't post any more photos from my vacation for a while after tonight. I just had to share these photos. In case you have missed my previous posts, we were at Gulf Shores, AL for a two week vacation and loved every minute of it! There is a big bush outside of the condo where butterflies love to come and eat up. They are so thick at times the bush looks like it is moving. I had a great time just watching the butterflies flit from flower to flower. You had to be careful where you stepped because they would just rest on the ground and they were easy to step on.

We also went to the Gulf Shores Zoo. The zoo is known as "The Little Zoo That Could". They have been featured on the Animal Planet show because one year they had to evacuate all of the animals (except the alligators) four times because of hurricanes in the area. That is a major feat. It is such a neat zoo. I had misgivings at first because of it's size. I thought I wouldn't be very fun because there wouldn't be enough to see. Wrong! You can get very close to the animals and they are kept in very nice cages/habitats. We were able to watch tiger cubs play outside in a pen area. The keepers were there to make sure they behaved themselves and didn't chew up the water hoses. As they took them back to their cages we were able to pet them.

There are a few habitats that have platforms that you can go up on to look into the habitats. It was fun to get some photos of the animals without going through the wire fences. This is the second time we have visited the Gulf Shores Zoo and if we go back to the area we will visit it again.

I haven't been able to sew since I got back home. A young man, (28 yrs. old) in our church went home to be with the Lord last week. While Jeremy is in a far better place he will be greatly missed here. His Mother is the church secretary that I fill in for when she goes on vacation. I am filling in now for her for a few weeks. I am happy that I can help her and her family not only by praying for them, but by giving her a little breathing room to sort things out. I spent the afternoon and evening today baking for our Youth groups bake sale that is coming up. I made 5 different kinds of cookies and a batch of cookie bars. I love to bake, but not eating the products is difficult! I have to admit, we had to try some of them to make sure they were eatable!

November 13, 2007

More Of My Vacation

This is the sunset photo that I told you about yesterday. I got up early one day with the intent of watching the sunrise and taking some photos. If you look closely you will see a silhouette of someone standing at the edge of the ocean. It is my dear hubby fishing. He had a great time fishing this year. My parents came down and spent the second week with us. My Father is a great fisherman too. Dear Hubby, Father and Mother enjoyed eating the catch of the day for dinner a couple of times. My Father was able to take some of his catch home with him to be enjoyed on another day. Did you notice I said "they" enjoyed their fish dinners? I am not a seafood person. I had a grilled cheese sandwich the first night and pizza the second. I enjoyed every bite!

This is the view I had while sitting at my sewing machine. Don't you wish you could have this view every day? I sure do. At times I believe I spent more time watching the waves come in and people walking by then sewing. All in all that was fine with me. My sewing area at home is in the basement - no view. I enjoyed having a window to look out of, especially with the view I had!

I worked on my Nickles quilt and got all of the blocks sewn together. It looks giant! This is a king size bed that I laid it across. I am planning on using it as a bedspread for a queen bed. I don't think I will have a problem with it not being large enough. I'm not sure what I will name it yet. I sewed most of blocks while on vacation at different times in Gulf Shores. What do you think of the name "Road to Gulf Shores"? Now to get it quilted!!! After the quilt top was put together I was able to work on my blue scrappy quilt. Fun fun fun!

November 12, 2007

I'm Back!

We went to Gulf Shores, AL for a wonderful two week vacation. As you can see it is a beautiful place to be! We rented a Condo on the beachfront and kicked our heels back and enjoyed life. I love the sound of the crashing sea waves. I can't get enough of that sound. At night I just love having the sea breeze blowing in and the sound of the waves lulling me to sleep. I like taking walks along the beach, dodging the waves as they come in and watching the sun set over the ocean. My hubby is known to get up early enough to see the sun rise. I on the other hand prefer sunsets. I did get up in time one day to get some sunrise pictures. Perhaps I will post a picture of my sunrise another day.

This is one of the views from the balcony. Some view! Of course I took my Featherweight with me and was able to accomplish a few things. The mornings were just a little chilly, the perfect time to sew. I will post about my sewing at the beach soon. The daily temperatures usually reached the mid 70's which is just perfect in my book. The hot hot days of Summer are not my favorite. Give me the Fall days at Gulf Shores anytime!

I just had to leave you with a photo of the beautiful waves. It was hard to pick just one. I have the sound of ocean waves on my ipod. I often fall asleep at night with the sound of the waves in the background. When I have a lot of things on my mind that is one sound that sooths my soul and helps me to relax. Mmmmmm, that sounds so inviting and it is past my bedtime right now. On to the ipod and sleepville now!